Naked Ahi Chop Chop

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Naked Ahi Chop Chop! When you discover fresh raw sashimi, your brain immediately kicks into the “gotta have it” register. At least, that’s the way it was for me. This Japanese delicacy offered a full-flavored high, without the nasty fishiness that can swear you off fish altogether. But here’s the secret: all ahi tuna is not the same. As I learned from my seafood specialist, sashimi-grade is meant to be eaten raw, so it is handled differently, vacuum sealed, and frozen quickly to the correct temperature to keep it safe. Check the labels, of course. Sushi and Sashimi are not the same thing.

NAKED AHI CHOP CHOP

Ingredients:

8 ounces sashimi grade ahi tuna

2 tablespoons pickled ginger, sliced

1 teaspoon wasabi paste

2 tablespoons unagi sauce

Watercress, for garnish

Instructions:

Run the ahi steak under cold water and pat dry. Slice ahi tuna steak with only one stroke of the knife, against the grain. Each segment should be about one inch thick. Arrange on a platter. Add the pickled ginger to enhance the flavor of the sushi. Squeeze wasabi paste onto a dish for a punch of heat, if desired. Add unagi sauce as a sweetened soy sauce. Garnish with fresh watercress. Serve slightly chilled.

Naked Belgian Waffles

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? After the Holidays: Naked Belgian Waffles! Doesn’t this sound sinfully decadent? Imagine fluffy discs of indented lattice, with slightly crisp edges, exuding a seductive vanilla essence. The deep indentations of golden batter cake are perfect vessels for whatever your heart desires. Might it be rich, creamy butter or hand-tapped pure maple syrup? What about toasted pecan halves and powdered sugar? Or perhaps even a smearing of hazelnut spread with fresh red raspberries. Whatever your craving, do yourself a favor. Make a double batch of waffles to store in the freezer. Then pop one in the toaster for a great way to start the day. Romance is in the air.

NAKED BELGIAN WAFFLES

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 eggs, room temperature

2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Slowly add liquid mixture to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Do not over-mix. Spray waffle iron with nonstick oil. Pour 3/4 cup of batter into preheated waffle iron. Close lid. Do not open until golden brown. Repeat until batter is gone. Serve warm with softened butter, maple syrup, pecan halves, powdered sugar, or fruit toppings.